What is more important, skill or talent to be successful in life?
Skill and Talent are not alternatives to each other. Talent emanates from skill. In my opinion, skill is a characteristic that helps individuals to accomplish certain tasks, whereas, talent is when the individual utilizes this skill to find resolution to problems in a given unknown scenario. For example, a skilled musician will technically know how to play a piece of instrument, whereas, a talented musician will be more adept in using the instrument to create a new composition.
In the technology world, a skill would be to know “troubleshooting of common security issues”. A talented cybersecurity professional, however, will go one step ahead and resolve the question “Given an unknown scenario troubleshoot a misconfigured firewall leading to data breach”.
How do you plan to train more than 50000 students?
We have a pan India presence through our network of training partners across the country. These training partners are both in the commercial, as well as, academic segments. One of the key initiatives that we are driving currently is to reach out to academic institutions to partner with CompTIA under our academic collaboration program. Through this collaboration, the faculty of these academic institutions will be enabled to deliver industry relevant programs to their students.
As we all know that currently there is a trust deficit with engineering education due to two primary reasons – a gap between what students learn and the industry requirements and secondly, the lack of employability of these students. One way to resolve this is to provide technology training and certifications that are acceptable in the industry and hep students to get better employment. All CompTIA programs are practical and maps with specific job roles and if students enter the job market with these skill and accreditations, they will definitely score well in the hiring process. We also have our commercial training partner centers in most part of the country through which our programs are delivered in high quality classrooms through certified instructors.
What kind of awareness do you want to spread on cyber security? What are the methods of training?
We observe that there is a lack of awareness among students and career seekers in the field of cybersecurity and the excellent employment opportunities this domain offers. Usually I have found that students are completely unaware of this larger scope and equate anything to do with cybersecurity with “hacking” since the term looks attractive. What they have not made to understand all these years is that cybersecurity is much more than just hacking – it has components of learning on how to defend networks through predictive modeling and utilizing a big-data approach and behavioral analysis to security along with the entire process of penetration testing on multiple trending technology implementations such as cloud, IoT, SCADA and ICS.
Hence, our intention is to create the awareness of a complete cybersecurity career pathway to the students and let them know what it takes to join this industry and reach a mastery level. They need to be aware of the job roles, responsibilities, growth path, remunerations and the dynamic nature prevalent in this career path. This is the first step.
The second stage is to provide them skill relevant training which are hands-on and practical. Training can be instructor led or self-paced learning through digital content. In either case there must be a major component of performance-based learning through virtual labs. In my opinion, for students in the academic institutions, the best method should be instructor led classroom training delivered by trained and certified faculty members.
Do you think the government is doing enough for mass skill development?
The Government has taken some very meaningful initiatives towards mass skill development. However, what lacks is the execution part. If you analyze the kind of content or training that Government programs contain, it is evident that there is a gap between these content pieces and industry relevance. What the industry wants today is resources with practically demonstratable skills. The challenge with Government institutions is the inflexibility to adapt their content on regular frequency mapped to the dynamic world of technology implementations.
In my opinion, there should be larger collaboration between Government initiatives as well as Government institutions to partner with global training and certification bodies and implement some of these programs into their curriculum so that the students are better prepared for the job market.
Could you please throw some light on the ongoing trends in technology?
While we are listening to a huge number of emerging technologies being discussed in all forums, the basic blocks in organizational IT remains pretty much the same. These blocks are development, database, infrastructure and cyber-security. Cyber security, in a way is an overarching domain that touches all the other three domains. However, today there is much more interactivity between these towers. Technology is going in a direction which is opening interactivity between data, devices and software leading to a huge scope in defining job roles of future.
Moving forward, we will see some very significant transformational technologies including autonomous cars to IoT integrated smart cities to augmented and virtual reality. All these have tremendous potential in terms of business and employment. Having said that, currently some of these innovations are in a nascent stage and we can only predict that they will transform the way we look at employment in the next 10-15 years. A McKinsey report of January 2017 states that in 2030, there will be 2.66 Billion workforces globally, out of which 8-9% will be new occupants. It also states that a massive 40% of the workforce will need some form of reskilling to remain relevant.
Undoubtedly, technology is becoming more complex. There are more tools to choose from and more parts making up an overall business system and user experience. As the world becomes more digital, companies are transforming to use technology more intelligently and more strategically. This transformation in the face of growing complexity is a huge challenge. The foundation of Infrastructure, Development, Security, and Data has evolved over time, but it continues to define IT operations that deliver business value.